May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month!

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. This commemoration was first proposed in 1977 to observe the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States in May of 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad, constructed mainly by Chinese immigrant workers in May of 1869. In 1978, President Carter made it an annual week-long event and President George H.W. Bush later extended the proclamation to include the entire month of May.

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is a time to learn and reflect on the history of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, and to celebrate their contributions through history in science, art, business and politics.

How can you celebrate?  If you are interested in learning about the history of Asian Americans, you can watch Asian Americans, a documentary series focusing on the history, contributions and challenges experienced by Asian Americans.  Additionally, you can support Asian/Pacific American businesses, and donate to Asian/Pacific American non-profit organizations.  You can also check out your streaming services for all kinds of films and television series being spotlighted this month

If you want to experience more, you can visit the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American to take a guided tour of what life was like for early Asian Pacific American immigrants.  You can also visit the newly renovated Seattle Asian Art Museum.

For a full list of activities and organizations, you can visit the Seattle Chamber’s page devoted to celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.